We were reading an interesting article this week about Microsoft deploying an underwater data centre to help save energy costs. Now you’re probably thinking what is a data centre? And why put it underwater? Firstly what is a Data Centre? Have you heard of the ‘cloud’? A data centre is where the cloud lives. Cloud is basically a slang word for storing and assessing data programs over the internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. So a data centre is a massive facility that holds computing equipment such as servers for an organisation. This allows a company to keep all its IT operations, equipment (where it stores, manages and disseminates its data) in one place. Consequentially the security and reliability of data centres and their information is a tip top priority for organisations. The data centre at NextDC’s Melbourne data centre is similar to a maximum security prison. The entire perimeter is surrounded by a high metal fe`nce with security camera’s covering every metre. The data centre was built to withstand floods, nuclear disasters, biological and chemical attacks, blast doors to protect from bomb blasts and back-up generators in-case a power plant goes down. Infrastructure stored in the data centre is protected by advanced physical security systems and protocols including a multi-layered access system with individual authentication using combined biometric fingerprint technology and ID access cards and 24/7 onsite security staff. Data centres look like a library but instead of bookshelves holding books, racks hold servers. These are lined up one after the other for as far as the eye can see. With Data Centres, it’s all about power. Here’s an interesting fact – NextDC uses more energy to power itself than the entire Crown Casino. So what that tells you, is that these centres are extremely power hungry. The also require cooling. With data centres being built at an alarming rate to feed our data needs, its driving the need for more power to keep the lights on in the data centres of the world. According to media sources, estimates are that 50 billion devices such as smartphones will be connected by 2020 and more than 100 billion a further five years later. That means data centres will need to be built to house…

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